The wife, wee tots, and I were in the great buckeye state since Easter weekend. Stayed with family, met with friends, had a couple of good runs, ate a ton of local cuisine, and took my friend to his first baseball game. All of that will be talked about in a later post. You're here for a race recap.
One word to describe it: Epic.
Thanks for reading everyone!
Just kidding. You can't get away that easy...
I didn't train too well for this one. A few weeks back I went out on that ten miler and felt competent enough to continue with the race, and I'm glad that I did. The race weekend started, for me, on Saturday at the football hall of fame.
The expo wound it's way through the history filled halls. After picking up my expo bag I learned about the history of the game. Checked out a couple booths and walked through the hall with all the player bronze heads. After that I made my way to the Akron Marathon booth, shuttered, and continued to the history of the super bowl.
The shirt and bib pick up was on the field that the race would be finishing on. You could tell that they put a lot into the expo. The only complaints I heard were about having to go through the hall of fame to get their race stuff. Oh no. How horrible. There's always one whiner...
Sunday morning came and I woke up and got to the field much earlier than I had to. The temperature for race start was in the upper 30s with a light breeze. My running ensemble included shorts, a long sleeve under shirt, Active:Water jersey, throw away gloves, throw away shirt, and the normal shoes and socks. I wasn't too worried about the bare legs but many appeared to be. This choice of clothes is fine for running the race but waiting an hour and a half outdoors this is not the best idea. In an effort to conserve body heat, and fight off hypothermia, I ducked into a bathroom under the stadium stands. There were port a johns so I was worried they'd lock the running water bathrooms. Luckily for me they did not. When I entered there were already 3 other guys standing in there with the same idea. They were from Chicago and had just came in the day before. Felt good knowing that there were some out of state people venturing into Canton, Ohio for a race (even though I guess I fit that mold now).
I reluctantly left my toilet clad paradise to find some friends from the High Mill running group. Moments after leaving the commode zone I spotted Duane Acito. We got to catch up for a while and after a good half hour we made our way to the start corrals. I put myself behind the 2:10 half marathon pacer. Going into the race I put myself at between 2:10 and 2:15 for a finishing time. Spirits were high in the corrals. I hit someone with my arm when I removed my throw away shirt and they were fun about it. Gotta love the runner community. A few minutes later I overheard them talking about how to get rid of their throw away clothes and I gave them my way. Throw it and then look in the opposite direction. That way if you hit someone they won't know it was you (unless they saw you throw it of course). I may or may not have done this in Chicago. In all fairness it's hard NOT to hit someone in the sea of people of Chicago.
There were no speakers so I didn't hear anything about the countdown or national anthem. A few minutes before the gun went off (which we could hear) I saw another HM runner, Shane. He was running his first half and was nervous. He told me how unprepared he felt. His long run was a 13 mile treadmill session that made him feel like crap. Ran it at 10:00 a mile. After that the gun went off and away we went. I did my usual start slower than most strategy and it went well. Saw some people I knew in the group of racers and looked forward to mile 4ish when I would see my wife, kids, and mother in law. There was a good mix of up and down hills for first third of the race. On Market St., before seeing my wife, I saw a co-worker of mine, from Nationwide, named Kyle. It's always a pleasant surprise to see people you know on the race course. He was there for a family member. Soon after I approached my girls and made a slight mistake. I took off my throw away gloves and gave one to each of my daughters. It was definitely an aw moment. My mother in law handed me my Active:Water bracelet that fell off removing gloves, I kissed my wife, and I was off again. A few steps later my great friend Jermaine was there snapping a photo. I probably ruined his photo by running straight towards him and getting a high five.
This brings us to mile 6. I saw Kyle again (he was biking the course) and then another friend Matt. I got myself another high five, he complimented my form, and then ran a few steps with me.
Side note: Having people you know cheer you on during a race is a great feeling. I've invited people out, thinking that most people won't do it (from experience), but man did Sunday feel great. The lesson from this is that I should run more hometown races.
The next few miles didn't have much to write about. I saw Kyle again.
Miles 9 through 10 we were in the park below the Hall of Fame. I saw Kyle again. Right after mile 10 was when my legs started feeling heavy. I could feel the lack of training. It was at this point someone body checked me from behind, it was Shane. After he apologized for checking me we talked about how he was feeling and he had a big smile on his face. He said he felt great (rub it in) and I gave him a good luck shout before he kept going. He was killing it for sure.
It was before mile 12 that I felt like I had run out of energy but I kept going. I struck up a conversation with someone to get my mind off of things but once he sped up I told him good luck and let him go on his merry way.
The last half mile goes in front of the hall and around a practice field. Once we button hooked the field you could see it. The stadium entrance. I'm just going to come out and say it. Approaching the finish always chokes me up. I'm even getting choked up right now thinking about it. Luckily because of dehydration from all the running no one ever notices! WIN! I entered the stadium turned to the finish, gave Kyle a high five, and pushed it through the finish with my arms up in the air.
Final time: 2:05:58. Did better than I thought. Not my PR but only a couple minutes off. After this race I really want to get back into endurance running. The race experience was that good.
You couldn't tell this was their first year of putting on a race of this caliber. I will definitely be doing it next year. Probably going to do the half. It will be two weeks after I run 29 miles with Daren Wendell on the Run Daren Run cross country run.
I highly recommend you look into the Pro Football Hall of Fame marathon and REALLY look into Run Daren Run.
|Football medal has actual pigskin on it|
Thanks for reading everyone!